SOAS University of London

Online Academic Summer School

Global Activism and the United Nations (Online) (2021 entry)

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  • Teaching and Learning
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Course Outline

This is an opportunity to work alongside world-leading advocates within the UN system. The key live cases are Southern women in the history and future of the UN ; more effective means of holding war criminals to account; a global system of weapons elimination and control, finance for a green New Deal, and the creative origins of the United Nations will be studied along with an opportunity to engage in real-time advocacy on one of these themes and learn from the readings. Each of these websites provides a deep dive into the case that will be taught.

Students are encouraged to take the free-start-any-day online course on the United Nations before the summer school starts, but this is not a requirement (MOOC Online Course).

We are delighted that Andrew Gilmour, recently retired as the UN Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights, will be giving a masterclass to students on The United Nations and Global Advocacy course.

For more information, please see the course handbook:  Global Activism and the United Nations handbook (pdf; 61kb)   

"I most enjoyed the opportunity to discuss material with fellow students and being able to learn from leaders in the field, all of whom are currently involved in work directly related to the course." (The United Nations and Global Advocacy, 2020)

What Will I Learn?

On successful completion of the course, you will be able to demonstrate:

  • An excellent ability to comprehend both conceptually and empirically the United Nations, and the UN system within the conceptual framework of Global International Organisations
  • Comprehensive understanding of, and ability to critically review the relevant literature
  • Aptitude in constructing and applying an appropriate analytical approach to issues relevant to the subject matter
  • Capacity to source, integrate, analyse and summarise relevant research and data in the submission of assessments
  • The relevant skills to propose, debate and appraise feasible issues relevant to the subject

For further information on credits, entry requirements and fees, please visit our Online Learning webpage.

If you have any question, please fill out our enquiries form.

Start of programme: 20 July – 31 July 2020

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Entry requirements

  • You will have completed one year of undergraduate study at the time of joining the Academic Summer School. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.

Featured events

2 weeks

Tuition Fees




Programme Schedule

A full programme schedule and updated handbook are being developed and will be available soon.

Sample Reading list:

The United Nations reading 

  • MacQueen, Norrie, The United Nations: A Beginner’s Guide, Oneworld Publications, 2010
  • Adami, Rebecca, Women and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Routledge 2018
  • Willams, Ian, Untold: The Real Story of the UN in War and Peace, JustWorld Books,2017
  • Weiss Thomas G. Would the World be better without the UN? Polity, 2018.
  • Plesch, Dan, Human Rights After Hitler,Georgetown UP, 2017

Global Advocacy reading 

  • Keck, Margaret E and Kathryn Sikkink (1998) Activist beyond borders (Cornell)
  • Della Porta, Donatella, Hanspeter Kriesi and Dieter Rucht (eds) (2009) Social Movements in a Globalizing world 2009 (2nd edition) (Palgrave McMillan)
  • Stark, Gene (1994) From Dictatorship to Democracy (free online resource)
  • Mason, Paul (2012) Why its kicking off everywhere (Verso)
  • Peterson, Abby, 'Review essay: Social Movement Theory' Acta Sociologica 1989 32(4) pp.419-426

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees


Application fee

A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £40 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.


10% discount if you apply for two courses over 4 weeks

15% discount for SOAS alumni (including Academic Summer School alumni)

20% discount for our partner institutions

Other discounts are available for groups. Please contact us for more information.

Academic Summer School Ambassador Scholarship 2022

Applications for our 2022 Ambassador Scholarship are now open.

The Ambassador Scholarship programme 2022 offers 3 full tuition fee waiver scholarships for highly morivated and academically driven students. Take a look at our Ambassador Scholarship page for more information on how to apply.

Application Deadline: 2022-04-30 00:00

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section


How to Apply

Apply now to secure your place.

Once you have paid the £40 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the course within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.

Application Deadline

We are accepting applications on a rolling basis. Apply now to secure your place.

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